Work in live performance is characterized by multiplicity, fluidity and for many, precarity in the eponymous ‘gig economy. COVID-19 and Brexit might be thought of as ‘crises within a crisis’ in this sense. Both have revealed and accentuated structural and sectoral inequalities bringing about an immediate threat to the livelihoods of performers, many of whose working lives were already financially precarious, highlighting the value but also the vulnerabilities of creative work. Coupled with this, ongoing concerns have been raised, particularly by professional bodies, about the impact of the pandemic, and of Brexit, on a social justice agenda and on support infrastructures for those working in no/low pay contexts.
Our research explores questions such as: How is the nature, meaning and experience of ‘live’ entertainment and performance changing, and what impact are these changes likely to have on the future of creative work?
What is needed to develop and maintain the necessary infrastructure for a fair, equitable and sustainable future for creative work, and workers?